WHY WAITING IS NOT SERVING YOUR CLIENTS, YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS

WHY WAITING IS NOT SERVING YOUR CLIENTS, YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS

It’s not hard to love Spring (as I’m sure you’ll agree, especially if you’ve seen Ness’ recent social media post about all the reasons to love Spring).

And just like the seasons of Mother Nature, our businesses also experience seasons and cycles.  

Winter months of hibernation and cave time.
Autumn shedding of what no longer serves us.
Spring blossoming and the smell of promise in the air.  
Summer of fun, laughter and lightness (or overheating depending on where you live… I’m looking at you QLD).

Some of these cycles happen in our businesses daily, sometimes weekly, monthly and they definitely happen over each quarter.

Fortunately, we have a some control (and a fair bit of influence) over the seasons in our business without having to rely on the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Hot tip: Our B2 Virtual Strategy Day helps with this.

The current environment of lockdowns and travel restrictions have created some interesting impacts to our business seasons and cycles.

We’re all somewhat Zoom experts these days, and there’s a thing called  ‘Zoom Fatigue’ – have you heard of it?

I recently ran a full day online training session and I had someone say to me afterwards that it was the ‘best training they’ve ever been to’.

Ummmm hang on. What. But it was on Zoom?*

*Okay, it was Google Hangouts but you get the jist.


My point is, there’s a lot of people waiting to ‘get back in the room’ or for things to ‘get better’ or ‘back to normal’ (d’oh what’s normal again?).  

The truth of the matter is regardless of what’s going on in the world around us, our business world doesn’t stop turning.

We simply must show up for our business 
but do it in a way that we enjoy and that fulfils our core need for connection.

We’ve listened to the challenges women in business are facing, we see what’s missing when trying to create a business you love without sacrificing time or life, we know what it’s like to have a million balls in the air and feel like we’re ‘failing’ at them all.

Because of this, we’ve been able to create the B2 Virtual Strategy Day specifically for you.

Here’s a couple of reasons why we know you’ll love it:

  • Regardless where you live, it’s not impacted by travel or lockdown restrictions (yay!). In fact, it’ll give you a boost of energy to deal with… well life.  
  • We’ve literally created the entire format around the gaps and needs of business women like you.
  • It’ll be loads of fun and you won’t have Zoom Fatigue (we promise).
  • We’ve made it super cost-effective (seriously we’ve cut the investment down by half) and are making sure you’re covered for 3 months.

Our next B2 Virtual Strategy Day is on the 22nd September.

We’ve put everything you need to know here so you can check it out in more detail, at your leisure, to see if it’s for you.

Money management red flags you’re ignoring and how to fix them

Money management red flags you’re ignoring and how to fix them

When we just focus on the money coming into our businesses by measuring our leads, sales and profit, we are only seeing one half of the picture. 

A business could be turning over $1 million in sales but at the end of the year, the owner of that business still may not have seen much of it (or scarier still, any of it!) in their own bank account.

If you want to move from a state of cashflow chaos to cashflow calm, here are the 5 red flags when it comes to money management you need to pay attention to:

You’re not paying yourself a regular ‘wage’

This is surprisingly more common than you might imagine, especially in female-owned businesses. According to the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a survey they ran “only a very small percentage (37%) of respondents believed they were paying themselves a market wage when they actually paying themselves a wage at all.”

THE FIX – Ask yourself the question what is stopping you from paying yourself first? If every decision starts with your money mindset, make sure you are aware of what’s stopping you so you can change your thinking and change your results. A great resource about shifting your thinking to pay yourself is the book “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz.

You don’t know what your cash flow forecast is for the next 3 months

An American study into why small businesses fail, found 82% of business owners put it down to poor cash flow management skills or poor understanding of cash flow. If you want your business to succeed into the future and get off the roller coaster ride of feast or famine, then this is essential.

THE FIX – Most accounting software has cash flow projection reports built-in so check out the help pages in your software of choice. If that’s all too confusing, start with a simple spreadsheet. Your industry association or State Government website will have examples to get you started. I had been using a spreadsheet for the past 2 years in my business so when Nicky and I went into Business Together, we used that as the foundation and have adapted it to suit our needs. Be sure to yell out if spreadsheets scare you, I’d be happy to help!

You aren’t making the most of Accounting Software

Over time the ease of use of accounting software has improved dramatically. According to Xero chief executive Steve Vamos, “The past year has brought home to many people in small business the need to understand in real-time their financial position and how it may change.” Gone are the days of complicated excel spreadsheets that become a burden once your income increases. 

THE FIX – I was hesitant initially when a Bookkeeper recommended I set up the cloud-based accounting software system Xero, but I have to say I have never looked back! When Cam was a baby (nearly 20 years ago now!) I did quarterly BAS for a friend who ran a business and he would give me his quarterly receipts in a shoebox #truefact! Now I scan my receipts directly into the app on my phone and attach invoices so everything is in one spot. It’s easier at tax time too, my accountant just logs in to get all the data he needs to complete my tax returns. Check out Xero, MYOB or Quickbooks to see which software is best for you.

You haven’t reviewed your auto subscriptions and annual expenses for over 6 months

Our business needs change over time and we are fortunate to have so many solutions at our fingertips. The number of apps that help us is amazing, and some of them are so affordable ‘if we buy now!’ we decide to sign up for them thinking we will use them in the future. But are they still being used 6 months later? I remember signing up on an annual subscription to have ‘pretty links’ on a website I didn’t update in a year. Then it auto-renewed for another 12 months and I was two years into paying for something I NEVER used. Sound familiar?

THE FIX – Block some time out in your calendar each quarter or at a minimum every 6 months to review your subscriptions. Ask yourself whether you are still getting a return on investment for them. Or shop around to see if you can get it for a better price. I do this at least bi-annually for my insurance and have saved money every time I do.

You don’t have an emergency fund to tap into when the sh!t hits the fan

Hello, 2020! This was the year that we all heard about emergency funds and I’m not sure about you but until last year, it was something I was going to get around to ‘someday’. I kicked myself for not putting money aside in 2019 when my income was at its highest. Instead, I made big-dollar investments in other areas of my business which although were worthwhile, didn’t provide much security last year when all my booked work cancelled in less than a week and I was left looking at an empty diary and soon to be an empty bank account.

THE FIX – Figure out what your monthly expenses add up to (including your wage) so you know the target amount you are saving. Most experts recommend having at least 3-6 months of expenses covered for you to tap into when you need to (e.g. a global pandemic, getting sick, a slow down in business). The best way to save this is to set up a separate bank account and automate a set amount to transfer each month. When business is going well, increase the amount you put away. And remember, any amount is better than nothing. So keep your eye on the target and make small regular payments if needs be.

If you find yourself in a position where one or more of these red flags is waving at you, don’t despair! There is a way out if you have a plan. And if you don’t yet have a plan, we’re here to help.

We have created our unique business methodology for women looking to release the weight of expectations of how you should be doing business so you can thrive and create a business you love, whilst still enjoying life outside of work. The True North Wheel, which includes a focus on three key areas of business success – business growth, money management & prioritising life – is a powerful force of change for any business to not only survive but also thrive.

Get in touch to find out more.

 

14 + 10 =

5 ways to ride the Covid roller coaster in business, without letting it break you

5 ways to ride the Covid roller coaster in business, without letting it break you

There’s no doubt about it… global sadness, fear, uncertainty is in the air these days. Across the world sh*t’s going down – in a multitude of ways. And I’m sure you feel it too! 

I’d call this h.e.a.v.y. 

I’d also call it current r.e.a.l.i.t.y.

As I watch the news, it blows my mind the ferocity and magnitude of things are happening yet, while the world seems to be imploding, our mundane routines continue. We still need to cook dinner, buy toilet paper, do washing, deal with IT issues, get up to date with our admin. 

Gagh! Somehow we’re still expected to carry on as though everything’s ‘normal’ and our business needs to keep running. 

So what can you do to make sure you’re not taking the weight and responsibility of the world on your shoulders throughout the day. 

Here’s 5 things you can start doing straight away

1. Only focus on what you can control and influence (hot tip – you can only control your own thoughts and actions). We waste a lot of time worrying about things we can’t do anything about. 

Ask yourself, what can I control and influence in this situation?

Do that and let go of the rest. Okay, so it sounds so simple when I say it. Sometimes these things are that simple. They’re just not always easy. 

2. Find small moments of reprieve and better yet, joy throughout the day

I call these micro-moments

What micro-moments can you introduce into your day? 

One of my faves is taking two mins in the middle of the day to stand barefoot on the grass in the backyard, looking up at the sky. 

Yes, this one is for my Qld friends. If you’re in Victoria your toes might freeze off if you do this barefoot. So go outside and let the cold air hit you in the face and help you come alive, look up at the sky and reflect on the vastness of things that are so much bigger than we are. 

3. Find your tribe. Don’t go through this alone. Stay connected to people who fill your cup and help you feel better. 

They could be business besties, family, friends. Ideally, have a combo of both work and outside of work connections and mix it up. 

I had a grand old time doing Zoom Trivia with my family (who are spread all across NSW) last weekend. It might not be as good as getting together face-to-face but the laughs are just as real and the connection is better than not seeing them at all. Trust me on this! Have family dinners with people on the laptop at the dinner table. Get creative. And hit Ness and I up if you’re still looking for your biz bestie community. 

4. Find gratitude daily. We hear about gratitude all the time and it can so easily be overlooked as making a real difference. Gratitude reminds us that even when things seem (and are) bad, there’s always something (even if it’s tiny) that’s not so bad.  

The best part? It doesn’t have to be huge. There’s a myriad of things to be grateful for, it’s just sometimes harder to see them. 

I’ll help get you started with things to be grateful for… living in Australia, clean water, shelter, bed, friends, laughter, love, grass, walking, health, clothes, the internet, technology. 

Take a couple of moments to think of 3 things you’re grateful for each day. Just before you go to sleep is a good time. Or maybe introduce it into the family conversation and have the whole family play along. 

5. Revisit your business strategy and put structures in place to adapt to the changing times. For instance, we know that wherever we are in Aus, there are looming and impending lockdowns. Even if you’re not in one right now. 

What can you put in place so that when (not if) lockdown hits, there’s minimal impact on your business? 

Depending on your type of business will depend on how impacted you are. Think about how you can minimise the disruption based on your unique business and needs. 

Some thought starters for you:

  • What services can you move to online?
  • Have you negotiated different terms with vendors and suppliers to offer more flexibility if needed?
  • What’s the new problem you can help your clients with in these modern times? Are you offering it?
  • How do you make the most of lockdown times ie. if you can’t deliver your service use the time to update your policies and procedures or up-skill your staff. You know, the stuff you never get time to do.

If you need a helping hand with any, or all of the above, you don’t have to go it alone. We’re all about thelping women in business break the cycles in business that are holding them back from creating a business they love (even in times of a pandemic) whilst still being able to enjoy time outside of work.

1 + 8 =

Why your business needs you to commit to putting yourself first

Why your business needs you to commit to putting yourself first

Hands up who agrees that the energy it takes to build a business is ginormous? 

In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60 per cent of small businesses stop their operation within the first three years of their startup journey.

When you look into reasons why this happens, there’s a lot of talk about lack of business plans and bad marketing. But from our experience of working with women in business, we found this to be only a small part of the picture.

Here are some of the contributing factors we’ve noticed:

  • Falling into the ‘busy trap’ and getting exhausted working long hours but not moving the needle
  • Not understanding what drives you, which means you don’t play to your strengths. Instead, you listen to ‘experts’ that tell you to hustle more – umm, #nothelpful
  • Getting into bad habits with diet, sleep and exercise because #nohoursleftintheday
  • Never-ending guilt when it comes to trying to balance work and life (and not doing either justice)

All of this is heading down the path towards burnout. And ain’t nobody wants to stay on that path!

 

So, what’s the way out?

It isn’t about dropping the ball in your biz and spending 2 hours a day with your laptop by the pool hoping and praying that everything will fix itself.

This is about seeing prioritising your life as EQUAL in importance to growing your business and managing your money.

If you are resonating with any of this, I’m here to let you know it’s ok.

Here’s how to get out of this mess…

 

Your first step

Give yourself PERMISSION to make decisions for yourself, trust them and stand by them. Stop looking to people outside your business to tell you how to run your business.

 Instead, lean into your why – what matters the most to you about the business you want to create. And importantly, what does that give you on a personal level? Because you are a whole and complete person. You want a business that adds value and richness to your life, not one that drains every last ounce of energy from you.

 Once you have taken that step to trust yourself, start building up your trust bank. Here a just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Make little promises to yourself and no matter what, keep them – like going for a walk instead of hitting the snooze alarm, or drinking water during the day instead of 4 cups of coffee
  • Give yourself mini-breaks during the day – set an alarm if you have to so you will get up and stretch, get some fresh air, or cuddle your dog (they will love it!).
  • Set boundaries and enforce them. Got a client who texts you on a weekend? Reply Monday morning. Have a hairdresser’s appointment (that’s been rescheduled two times already)? Then say no I’m not available at that time when someone asks you to ‘squeeze’ them in.

 By taking small actions every day to prioritise what matters to you, the pay-off will be that you have more energy and a greater desire to do your best work in the time you allocate for it.

 

Want some help with this?

Nicky and I are offering business owner’s their personalised True North in Business Diagnostic – a deep dive into your Business Health Check, eDISC Develop & Grow profile and a Road Map Meeting where we clearly set out your next steps.

 We would love to support you to turn cashflow chaos into cashflow calm, being in the busy trap to being business savvy and shifting from burnout to feeling empowered and free.

 Just pop your details below and we’ll be in touch.

7 + 8 =

Exhausted? what got you here in biz wont get you there

Exhausted? what got you here in biz wont get you there

Chances are you’ve been in business for some time, you have an established business and you know that to build a business from nothing, it takes a certain amount of hard work and hustle.

Whether you love or hate a bit of hustle in your business, it’s important to remember when you get to a certain phase in business – taking a hustle type approach is not going to get you to your next level of growth.

To give some context – when I talk hustle, I’m talking about the constant go go go. The never-ending grind that’s needed in the beginning stages of a business. While you might have to bring this in the early days, if you keep the hustle and grind once you have something established, you’re not going to bring anything of benefit to your business or yourself.

A lot of us have a belief that to be successful, we have to work hard. We’ve picked this belief up somewhere along the way. And the problem is that all the years you’ve been achieving success through “working hard” you’ve been unconsciously collecting evidence ie. proving to yourself that this low-quality belief (that to achieve success, you have to “work hard”) is true.

This then assumes that when you stop working hard, the success will stop.

It’s simply not true. And let me explain why…

In the early days, you need to put in double the effort for half the reward. Yep, you read that right. Remember when you had to…

  • Have extra sales conversations to convert clients
  • Spend lots more time figuring out how to do… well everything!
  • Say yes to clients that weren’t your ideal clients
  • Set up new processes and systems that had never been used before and it seemed to take fooooreeeeever… especially when there were tech issues

NOW it’s time for you to get double the result with half the effort.  

And we know you can do it because…

  • You have the foundations in business already set up to build on
  • You’re in a position to not have to do everything yourself *Helloooo outsourcing!
  • You know you can deliver great value – you’ve got the existing and previous clients to prove it
  • You know exactly who the best type of client is that you can help the most whilst enjoying working with them
  • And let’s face it, if you keep doing things the way you’ve done them, you could end up resenting your business, not keeping up with growth, or maybe even burning out. Not a pretty place to be.

So make sure you remember, your business doesn’t need you doing everything in it. It no longer needs you to hustle and grind.

What it does need is for you to step into the space of visionary, idea generator, innovator and for you to focus on the areas that are aligned with you being in your genius zone.

If you want more ideas on how to double your income without working twice as hard, check out this video now.

WHY IMPLEMENTING COOKIE CUTTER SOLUTIONS WON’T WORK

You’ve invested in so many courses (and maybe completed some…#oooops).
You’ve tried so many different methodologies and frameworks from the experts.

BUT

Nothing seems to be working.
You’re in and out of overwhelm and feeling kinda stuck.
You just can’t stop comparing yourself to others and their success.
And to be honest, some days you’re pretty deflated and wondering why you went into business in the first place.

Seriously you thought the growing pains were over when you finally got the business off the ground and now it’s a bit like starting all over again.

We get it.

Your business has stages, phases and cycles (just like us women). 

Off the shelf cookie cutter designs that are a generic fit (just like a one-size-fits all dress or muumuu) are not the answer.   

You need to find services and solutions that are tailored and bespoke to your unique business needs. This entails taking a look at things like your specific market, history, client segment, opportunity, product and services, team.

Ask yourself these 3 important questions before investing in your next ‘big thing’:  

    • Can I talk about my specific problem in this environment (with enough time to delve deep)?  
    • What experience do they have working within my industry, ‘who are you to tell me what to do?’  
    • Consider the ROI (emotional or financial) you’ll get from the investment – see more on this where I share insights on the 3 reasons to get someone else to look at your business strategy